A new report released this morning by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences provides a comprehensive overview of linguistics programs across the United States. Using data provided by the LSA and other academic organizations, the Humanities Departmental Survey fills critical gaps in our knowledge about the state of the humanities in higher education, with the most recent survey providing information on thirteen different disciplines.

Distribution of humanities faculty members by tenure

The American Academy's report on linguistics surveyed 98 of 133 departments and programs on trends relating to faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and general departmental issues. Notable linguistics-related findings include:

  • Between 2007 and 2012, linguistics programs reported growth in both the average number of bachelors' degrees awarded (9.8, an increase of 2.5) and the average number of juniors and seniors with declared linguistics majors (27.1, an increase of 5.3). Linguistics was the only surveyed discipline with a statistically significant increase in either category.
  • 74% of linguistics faculty were reported as either being tenured or on the tenure track, one of the highest percentages among the disciplines surveyed (see above chart).
  • In linguistics faculty tenure decisions, publications were noted as the most essential consideration, with 85% rating them "essential" and 13% as "very important". Teaching was listed as the second-greatest consideration, with 50% rating it as "essential" and 39% as "very important", though teaching was found to generally be a greater consideration than publication at non-research-oriented universities.

Other areas of the report discuss the creation and elimination of linguistics programs as a whole, patterns in faculty demographics and teaching structures, and departmental efforts to promote digital engagement and offer professional training to students. Copies of the report on linguistics and the HDS report as a whole are available in PDF form.

The HDS report is updated every few years to monitor ongoing changes and trends in the humanities. In order to ensure that your department is most fully represented in the HDS, please keep its information updated in the LSA Directory of Linguistics Departments and Programs. Data from the HDS will also be included in the LSA's next Annual Report on the State of Linguistics in Higher Education.